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Childhood Favorites for World Book Day

For true book lovers, books have an incredible ability to stay with us long after we’ve finished them. And the ones we loved as children tend to hold a special place in our hearts. So to celebrate World Book Day, we asked the authors of several of our upcoming releases to share the books that left an impression on them in their younger years. Here’s what they had to say!

Ryan Dalton

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon: The first books I remember falling in love with were The Hardy Boys mysteries. They were clever and mind-bending and just the right kind of adventurous to get a young geeky boy’s (already overactive) imagination spinning. The tension of wondering how they would solve the mystery, the triumph of finally unmasking the villain–it was such a thrill. I also loved that the stories didn’t condescend. They challenged me to think, to see all the moving pieces, and even to expand my vocabulary. My Time Shift Trilogy has a healthy dose of mystery largely because I wanted to recreate those same feelings in my readers.

Read more about Dalton’s The Genesis Flame, coming April 24.


Kevin Wolf

Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody: I was a kid growing up in Littleton, Colorado, when Saturday evening television broadcast black and white episodes of Have Gun Will Travel and Gunsmoke.  My dad chose Little Britches as our “read out loud book.” It’s a simple story. A family from New England moves to a farm outside of Denver in the early 1900s.  The main character learns how to be a cowboy, but learns more about honesty, hard work and integrity. I just applied for Medicare and still hope I grow up to be a cowboy because of that book.

Read more about Wolf’s A Town Called Vengeance, coming May 1.


Eric Smith

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: Okay, okay. Hear me out. Growing up, my parents skipped on a lot of the classic middle grade books most of my friends were reading, and pressed these really charming Great Illustrated Classics books on me. I was in third grade or so, reading aged down versions of Moby Dick and other classic novels, out of these thick white books with black and white drawings inside. And I loved it.

But the story that stuck with me the most was Jules Verne’s classic. I fell in love with steampunk before I even knew what steampunk was, exploring the Nautilus. And Captain Nemo, a man without a country who wrestled with a sense of identity … that was ME as a young adopted kid. There was so much of me tucked away inside this character that was written ages before I was born, and it was one of the first times I really saw myself in a book.

I have Nemo’s Nautilus tattooed on my arm. A reminder of the book I loved, and that home is where I choose to make it.

Read more about Smith’s The Girl and the Grove, coming May 8.


B. A Williamson

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis: These books were my constant companions in childhood. The fingerprints of Narnia are all over my own writing. I couldn’t get enough of that world, so vast and amazing, waiting just around every corner. What more tantalizing escapism could there be for a kid? A place where good always triumphed over evil, where kids could be kings and queens, and where everything was absolutely magical. I wanted to live in those books. I wanted a magic sword and shield, and a talking mouse for friend. And now I try to write worlds that other kids will want to spend their time in

Read more about Williamson’s The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray, coming May 15.


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